Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Margenthaler hoping for some one-year magic

Minnesota State men's basketball coach Matt Margenthaler announced his latest signing this week, adding 6-foot-7 guard Andre Gilbert to the roster.
Gilbert certainly brings some baggage (or interesting story, depending on your perspective), with an acquittal of sexual assault charges during his freshman season at South Dakota State, a transfer to a junior college in California, one season at Kansas State playing alongside Michael Beasley and Bill Walker and two years of working and living in California, looking for another chance.
It will be interesting to see how Gilbert, who payed high-school ball at Park Center, is received by the university and the program's fans.
Gilbert is the second transfer who will have just one season with the Mavericks, joining 6-7 A.J. Wilson, who came here from Murray State. Both are obviously talented athletes or they wouldn't have been playing at Division I universities.
But successful programs rarely are built on one-year players. Margenthaler said he's always trying to recruit the best players, and he looks for transfers to fill in holes on the team. Wilson will likely be the starting center/power forward, with Gilbert at shooting guard/small forward.
Margenthaler's desire to win is never in doubt. He puts more pressure on himself than the university puts on him, and having watched the Winona State men and Minnesota State women win national championship, that only fuels his passion for a title.
If it works next season, and the Mavericks have a prolonged run through the postseason, nobody will care where these players came from or why. If it falls apart as it did this season, more scrutiny will follow.

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